My head is positively swirling with ideas, to-dos, tasks, brainstorms – you name it. And I am tired. I just returned from an incredible coaching mastery retreat where I was supported, inspired, and filled up. And now there’s so much to do! And I want to wave my wand and have it all done now. The actual doing is a different story, as I suddenly feel the overwhelming urge to nap…
I spent the early morning today at the collision center dropping off my car and picking up a rental. You may recall, when I was all zen about not worrying, that our car died. And we bought a new one. Not only new, but from the future! A 2013! And then a distracted driver backed into it while it was parked in front of our house last week. This was not part of the plan.
So my wand waving waited. On the way home from the collision center, I stopped at the farmers’ market and bought peaches, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, eggs and more. I filled my bags with healthy local food. My computer and my wand waving waited a little longer.
As I opened the gate I saw my best wisdom teacher, Buster, resting in the shady front yard. I unpacked the food, then stepped barefoot into the lovely grass and joined him. And breathed. Because if I don’t have time, on a beautiful sunny day, to sit in the grass for a few minutes, then something is really off.
This week I’m going to believe in the word “and”. I can work toward my goals *and* sit in the grass for a few minutes. I can complete tasks *and* cut up strawberries. I can drive to unexpected places like collision centers *and* enjoy the trip, rocking out to the 80′s on satellite radio. I can write *and* I can nap. I can create *and* I can breathe. Wow. Buster knows. We are so lucky.
What are some of your *and* statements for the week?
I couldn’t figure out why the brown thrasher was making so much noise- scolding and scolding! – and then I saw it, right at chest height, right next to the trail. No wonder she was worried! What its is about a bird’s nest that brings out the childlike wonder in us? Those perfect little eggs nestled in that beautiful nest, created completely by instinct by the mother bird. What a lovely surprise!
I used to stand at the copy machine, running off tests or project directions or packets for field trips to the swamp or the marsh or the barrier islands. While I stood there, I would hold my breath. Not purposefully, but in the way where once you realize it you notice that you’re barely breathing. I get that way when I’m on a mission to get something done. I can be impatient with process – I want to finish! And so somehow my body gets an unconscious direction that nice deep regular breathing has to wait until everything’s complete.
I was doing it again today. I’ve been working on a beautiful wordlessness kit to share with my people (that’s you!) and I am so close to finished. But I’ve been forgetting to breathe during the process itself, and that’s so silly! As I write this I’m taking big slow expansive breaths to try to make up for today’s earlier oxygen deprivation.
I’ve been away on a three-day retreat. I had three big goals for this retreat: grieving (more about that in a future post), being wordless and then letting ideas and plans flow and percolate, and finally doing the work to get some big things done! (That’s where the breathing kind of fell apart…)
I started at my favorite getaway– my dear friend Rachel’s land in Mississippi. Thursday afternoon and evening was for grieving, until the sun went down. A fire at the beach marked the passage to the next phase: planning, plotting, preparing, filling the well until all my creativity would overflow today.
I just discovered Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. Speaking of flames, it’s great for lighting a fire under you and giving you absolutely no excuse to submit to resistance or procrastination. I decided on Friday, rather spontaneously, to mark a new commitment to fighting resistance with a ritual dip in the creek.
You need to understand why this was a challenge for me. I hate to be cold, and the creek was a bit cool. I watched my resistance get to work once I made the decision to swim, not just to wade (resistance said wading would still count.) I placed my palms together, took a breath, submerged to my waist, and asked for a sign. (Resistance said, “Really, that’s good enough – we’re getting goosebumps here!”) I looked up and there was the most beautiful green damselfly perched on a branch looking right at me!
It looked just like this, although this photo is from years ago. The damselfly was like my muse, saying, “You can do it. Beat resistance. You’ll feel so great!” And I did it. And I did feel great. I plunged under the water. I floated downstream. I sat on a big fallen log, taking my time before drying off.
I will remember this ritual submersion when resistance tells me to wait until tomorrow. (Or when I’m in a hotel room for part two of my retreat, and it says, “Go ahead and turn on the tv for just a minute” – only to discover that Pretty in Pink is on, along with a New Orleans version of that bad behavior girls dating show on VH1. Resistance has many weapons!)
In the middle of a particularly annoying photo resizing session, after I realized I’d accidentally created a 32 Megabyte pdf, I had pretty much stopped breathing altogether. And then for some reason, I looked out the window of my hotel room and saw this.